What You Need To Know

Freiburg im Breisgau is a city in Baden-Württemberg, Germany with a population of about 220,000. In the south-west of the country, it straddles the Dreisam river, at the foot of the Schlossberg. Historically, the city has acted as the hub of the Breisgau region on the western edge of the Black Forest in the Upper Rhine Plain. A famous old German university town, and archiepiscopal seat, Freiburg was incorporated in the early twelfth century and developed into a major commercial, intellectual, and ecclesiastical center of the upper Rhine region. The city is known for its medieval minster and Renaissance university, as well as for its high standard of living and advanced environmental practices. The city is situated in the heart of the major Baden wine-growing region and serves as the primary tourist entry point to the scenic beauty of the Black Forest. According to meteorological statistics, the city is the sunniest and warmest in Germany and held the all-time German temperature record of 40.2 °C (104.4 °F) from 2003 to 2015.

 

Area: 153.1 km²

Population: Estimate 243 255

 

Currency

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  • The Euro is the official currency of Germany and Freiburg.

Culture

Because of its scenic beauty, relatively warm and sunny climate, and easy access to the Black Forest, Freiburg is a hub for regional tourism. The longest cable car run in Germany, which is 3.6 kilometres (2.2 mi) long, runs from Günterstal up to a nearby mountain called Schauinsland. The city has an unusual system of gutters (called Freiburg Bächle) that run throughout its centre. These Bächle, once used to provide water to fight fires and feed livestock, are constantly flowing with water diverted from the Dreisam. They were never intended to be used for sewage, and even in the Middle Ages such use could lead to harsh penalties. During the summer, the running water provides natural cooling of the air, and offers a pleasant gurgling sound. It is said that if one accidentally falls or steps into a Bächle, they will marry a Freiburger, or ‘Bobbele’.

Government

Freiburg is known as an “eco-city”. It has attracted the Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz, solar industries, and research; the Greens have a stronghold there (the strongest in any major German city; up to 35% of the overall city vote, in some neighborhoods reaching 40% or more in the 2012 national elections). The newly built neighborhoods of Vauban and Rieselfeld were developed and built according to the idea of sustainability. The citizens of Freiburg are known in Germany for their love of cycling and recycling. The Oberbürgermeister, Dieter Salomon, (elected as of 2002), was the first member of Bündnis 90/Die Grünen to hold such an office in a city with more than 100,000 inhabitants. In June 1995, the Freiburg city council adopted a resolution that it would permit construction only of “low-energy buildings” on municipal land, and all new buildings must comply with certain “low energy” specifications. Low-energy housing uses solar power passively as well as actively. In addition to solar panels and collectors on the roof, providing electricity and hot water, many passive features use the sun’s energy to regulate the temperature of the rooms. 2010 Green Party convention in Freiburg, Dieter Salomon, Green Party Mayor, and Carey Campbell, Independent Green Party, USA, and National Chairman, Committee to Draft Michael Bloomberg. Freiburg is host to a number of international organisations, in particular, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, ISES – International Solar Energy Society, and the City Mayors Foundation.

Language

German is the official language.

 

Transport

Freiburg has an extensive pedestrian zone in the city centre where no motor cars are allowed. Freiburg also has an excellent public transport system, operated by the city-owned VAG Freiburg. The backbone of the system is the Freiburg tramway network, supplemented by feeder buses. Freiburg is on the main Frankfurt am Main – Basel railway line, with frequent and fast long-distance passenger services from the Freiburg Hauptbahnhof to major German and other European cities. Other railway lines run east into the Black Forest and west to Breisach. The line to Breisach is the remaining stub of the Freiburg–Colmar international railway, severed in 1945 when the railway bridge over the Rhine at Breisach was destroyed, and was never replaced. The city also is served by the A5 Frankfurt am MainBasel motorway. Freiburg is served by EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg in France, close to the borders of both Germany and Switzerland, 70 km (43 mi) south of Freiburg. Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden airport (Baden Airpark) is approximately 100 km (62 mi) north of Freiburg and is also served by several airlines. The nearest larger international airports include Stuttgart (200 km (120 mi)), Frankfurt/Main (260 km (160 mi)), and Munich (430 km (270 mi)). The nearby Flugplatz Freiburg, a small airfield in the Messe, Freiburg district, lacks commercial service but is used for private aviation. Car share website such as Mitfahrgelegenheit are commonly used among Freiburg residents since it is considered relatively safe.

 

Symbols

Seal of Freiburg.

The city’s coat of arms is Argent a cross Gules, the St George’s Cross. Saint George is the city’s patron saint. The cross also appears on the city’s flag, which dates from about 1368, and is identical to that of England, which has the same patron. The city also has a seal that can be seen in a few places in the inner city. It is a stylized depiction of the façade of the Wasserschlössle, a castle-like waterworks facility built into a hill that overlooks the residential district of Wiehre. The seal depicts a three-towered red castle on a white background, with green-clad trumpeters atop the two outer towers. Beneath the castle is a gold fleur-de-lis.

 

Weather

Köppen climate classification classifies its climate as oceanic (Cfb). Marine features are limited however, as a result of its vast distance to oceans and seas. As a result, summers have a significant subtropical influence as the inland air heats up. July and August are even under normal circumstances akin to a heatwave for most of Germany. Winters are moderate but usually with frequent frosts.

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